Bright Stars Childcare Centre - 22/05/2017

1 Evaluation of Bright Stars Childcare Centre

How well placed is Bright Stars Childcare Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Bright Stars provides all-day education and care for up to 38 children including a maximum of 10 under two years old. The centre serves a multi-ethnic Sandringham community with diverse cultures and languages.

Since the centre changed ownership in October 2016 major improvements have been made to the indoor areas. There have also been changes in teaching staff and a new head teacher appointed. The staff now includes five registered teachers, two other qualified teachers and a cook.

In 2014 ERO identified a range of concerns that resulted in additional support for the centre and an action plan to guide improvements. The new centre owners have a strong commitment to providing a high standard of education and care and have been proactive in addressing the areas of concern identified by ERO. They have focused on improving teaching practice and ensuring compliance with health and safety requirements.

A new centre philosophy is being developed. Some key aspects include the recognition of children as capable and competent learners, respect and manaaki for all things and each other, positive relationships, and the importance of play as a fundamental tool for learning. The philosophy is strongly underpinned by the recognition of Māori as tangata whenua, and the dual cultural heritage of Aotearoa. The curriculum is based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

The Review Findings

The centre's belief in children as confident, capable, self-managing learners is evident in practice. Children know the routines and rituals of the centre well. Their developing social competence is evident in their interactions with their friends and with adults.

The centre's welcoming atmosphere encourages parents to linger and supports children to develop a sense of wellbeing and belonging. Relationships between teachers and whānau are strengthening and parents who spoke to ERO feel their contributions to the programme are valued. They appreciate teachers' inclusive practices and their support for children to retain their home languages.

Relationships between teachers and children are responsive and respectful. Teachers allow children to work at their own pace and work well with individuals and small groups. Maths and literacy learning experiences are valued and included in the curriculum in relevant and meaningful ways.

Babies and toddlers are provided for in a separate area. They benefit from opportunities to mix with older children and their needs are well met. Adults are warmly affirming of these children as they independently explore the resources available to them. Teachers need to better align the planning and assessment practices in this area with what happens for the older children.

The curriculum focuses on supporting children to develop the skills and attitudes that allow them to be confident, competent learners. Teachers listen well to children and use their comments and ideas when planning their programme. Teachers are in the early stages of including information shared by parents/whānau when planning programmes for children.

Te reo and tikanga Māori are well integrated in centre routines and teaching practices. There are opportunities for all children to hear and see te reo and tikanga being respectfully used and valued. Further whole team professional learning is planned to support and deepen teachers' bicultural knowledge and practice.

Children's portfolios are good records of their learning. They describe children's interests and growing capabilities in different contexts. Teachers should regularly include children's perspectives about their learning in these records. This would further motivate children and their families to revisit portfolios and provide a record of their developing oral skills.

The learning environment provides many opportunities that support children to become engaged in their play. Some children spend long periods of time focused on their chosen activity, well supported by teachers. Outdoor challenges provide good opportunities for children to develop physically.

A staff appraisal process has recently been established. Centre leaders are aware of the need to align the process with Education Council requirements. Aligning teachers' appraisal goals could help to foster greater cohesion across the team and help teachers to develop shared understandings of their role in supporting and challenging children's learning.

Teachers are beginning to document reflections about their teaching practices in relation to children's learning. Many centre policies and procedures have recently been reviewed and leaders will continue to evaluate their policy framework as part of strategic and annual planning. Internal evaluation has already resulted in many positive changes in the centre. Developing a more robust evaluation process is a focus for 2017.

Key Next Steps

The centre leaders have identified useful key next steps that include:

  • reviewing the centre philosophy to reflect the priorities of the newly established teaching team
  • refining assessment practices by making the continuity of children's learning and their cultural identity and language more visible
  • developing and refining programme planning for individuals, and evaluating the effectiveness of teaching strategies on outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Bright Stars Childcare Centre completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum
  • premises and facilities
  • health and safety practices
  • governance, management and administration.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)
  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)
  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Bright Stars Childcare Centre will be in three years. 

Steffan Brough
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

22 May 2017

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service 

Location

Sandringham, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

25395

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

38 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

45

Gender composition

Girls       23
Boys      22

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Samoan
Tongan
Niue
other

13
12
  6
  6
  4
  4

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

22 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

December 2014

Education Review

November 2011

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

  • Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children
  • Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children
  • Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children
  • Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau. 

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.